Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Thumb ridges and other stories

today on the tube I found myself idly tracing the line of my right thumbnail. Waking out of my lethargy, I realised that the deep ridge that I became aware of in July, had finally reached the tip and was one emery swipe from oblivion.
odd way to start I know, but stay with me...

So I've been thinking recently about the physical side effects of stress. How the body responds to the adrenaline rush of stress, you know, fight or flight and all that...
In cases of long term stress (horrid stuff like bomb or rape victims and those with PTSD, or even parents of kids with disabilities) that rush of coping adrenaline doesn't get to go back to the resting calm state because the "threat" is constant.
So where does all that adrenaline go and what does it do to your body? your heart, your lungs, your skin, nails, all without you knowing? What long term physical effects are storing up in my cells right now.
You see I'm pretty good at making sure the kids and hubby get their 5 a day, eat a balanced diet, get exercise, but I have to really push to remember I need to do that too.
Which leads me back to the tube today and that thumbnail.
I drew a pretty picture in my pretty pink notebook back in July 10th. It was of my thumbnail in profile and it showed a ridge about 3/4 of the way down, a deep, marked "what happened there?" kind of ridge.
Charting it back I calculated that this "body to thumb assault" happened back in April, just as the postman delivered my letter about Jacob's invisible school place. Now here we are at the start of September and the ridge has run out of nail as we prepare for him to start school in just a few weeks. In fact, you'd never know it was there.

When I went into therapy over 2 years ago, I labelled myself as searching for long term coping mechanisms for this lovely life I'm blessed to be challenged by. Last night as I came back to this safe place after the summer break, I realised that was a crock of shit.
2 years on and I still haven't looked at the long term, partly because I get frozen in a panic of coping due to the fullness of my day to day.
What's been going on in my body, my heart, since the "life" in my life happened back in Summer 2003 with the diagnosis of my mum's cancer and everything since.

So I'm making a short, quiet promise to myself to try and look closely at changes I need to make to my life. Because if all the pressure and upset I had over those last 5 months due to school could do that to my nail, what else might be lurking inside from the last 6 years?

No comments:

Post a Comment